Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Rising Sun - Lucky Gods

Hi all

One of the expansions that I received for the game "Rising Sun" was the Daimyo Invasion box.  This added a further 2x clans to be added to those available and to increase the number of players allowable to 6.  The 2 new clans aren't allowed to use the Monsters from the core set like the others, instead they use the "Lucky Gods".

I'm not entirely sure what the reasoning behind that theory is, although I suspect it's just a marketing ploy.  However the minis are kinda cool and it does add a little extra gameplay so I have added them to the box.  

I'm gonna do my whole lazy Wiki research thing

Here are the first four...


From the period of the gods Izanami and Izanagi, Ebisu (恵比寿) is the only one whose origins are purely Japanese. He is the god of prosperity and wealth in business, and of plenitude and abundance in crops, cereals and food in general. He is the patron of fishermen and therefore is represented with fishermen's costumes such as a typical hat, a fishing rod in his right hand and a fish that can be either a carp, a hake, a codfish or a sea bass, or any large fish, in general, that symbolize abundance in meals (such as a feast or banquet). It is now common to see his figure in restaurants where fish is served in great quantities or in household kitchens.[1]


Hotei (布袋) is the god of fortune, guardian of the children, patron of diviners and barmen, and also the god of popularity. He is depicted as a fat, smiling, bald man with a curly moustache. He always appears half naked, as his clothes are not wide enough to cover his enormous belly. He blessed the Chinese, and they nicknamed him "Cho-Tei-Shi" or "Ho-Tei-Shi", which means ‘bag of old clothes’.
Hotei was a Zen priest, but his appearance and some of his actions were against their moral condition: his appearance made him look like quite a mischievous person and he had no fixed place to sleep.
He carries a bag on his shoulders which is, according to the beliefs, loaded with fortunes for those who believe in his virtues. Hotei's traits and virtue are contentment, magnanimous and happiness.
The legend explains that Hotei was a real person. His Chinese name was Kaishi, and even though it seems that his date of birth is unknown, his death is recorded as March 916.
The Japanese began to believe in Hotei during the Edo era. The reason why the Japanese have such great respect for this god comes from a legend that says that, before the Zen Buddhism arrived to Japan, an alternative Buddhist thought was extended by a priest of dubious aesthetic, who actually was a manifestation of Miroku. Miroku was the patron of those who could not be saved by the beliefs of Buddha, and Hotei was later perceived and accepted by the Japanese as a second Miroku.[1]


Benzaiten's (弁才天 or 弁財天) origin is found in Hinduism, as she comes from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. While being the only female Fukujin in the modern grouping of seven Fukujin, she is named in various ways: Benzaiten (弁才天), Benten (弁天), Bentensama (弁天様), or Benzaitennyo (弁才天女). When she was adapted from Buddhism, she was given the attributes of financial fortune, talent, beauty and music among others. In many occasions her figure appears in the "Torii" (entrance of the temples). It is common to see her in the Japanese temples. She is represented as a smart, beautiful woman with all the aforementioned attributes. She carries a biwa, a Japanese traditional lute-like instrument and is normally accompanied by a white snake. She is the patron of artists, writers, dancers, and geisha, among others.[1]

Fukurokuju (sometimes omitted)[edit]

The god Fukurokuju (福禄寿), another Shichifukujin, has his origins in China. It is believed that he used to be a hermit during the Chinese Song dynasty, distinguished for being a reincarnation of the Taoist god Hsuan-wu. He is the god of wisdom, luck, longevity, wealth and happiness. This god receives certain credits, such as being one of the Chinese philosophers who could live without eating (breatharian). Moreover, he is the only god who was said to have the ability to resurrect the dead. Fukurokuju is characterized by the size of his head, being almost as large as the size of his whole body, and is represented wearing traditional Chinese costumes. He normally carries a cane in one hand and in the other a scroll with writings about the world. He is usually accompanied by a turtle, a crow or a deer, animals that are frequently used in Japan to symbolize a long life. It is also said that he likes to play chess, and so he is also credited for being the patron of chess players.[1] The characteristics of Fukurokuju and Jurōjin bear tremendous overlap as they both trace back to the Chinese Taoist deity Nánjílǎorén (南极老人), which is why Fukurokuju's position is sometimes granted instead to the goddess Kichijōten, as in the Butsuzōzui compendium of 1783.[5] 

So there you have it, the first 4 figures for the game. 3 to go...

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Rising Sun - on the table

Hi all

Recently I managed to persuade (I just asked them really...) my board gaming group to join me in a game of Rising Sun, so I thought I'd post a little about the actual game play.

stock photo

Zatu Games describe the game...

"Rising Sun is Eric Lang’s spiritual successor to Blood Rage. Published by CMON it has been one of the most talked about games of 2018. Set in feudal Japan, with a heavy dose of mysticism and mythology, Rising Sun is an area control game that is not won through combat alone. Forging alliances, teamwork and deception all play a part over the course of a single year which will decide which of the five factions will dominate the land. The player with the most victory points is the winner.
The board is a beautiful artistic representation of Japan, highly stylised yet easy to understand. Tokens and cards all follow suit with a distinct look.
Rising Sun comes with five asymmetrical factions with their own set of unique miniatures in three different forms. The Daimyo is the most powerful unit in your faction and is harder for other players to disrupt. The Shinto units are able to move off the map and go pray to one of four random Kami gods at the top of the board. At certain points during the year, if you have more Shinto praying for a particular god than another player, you gain a special ability. Finally the Bushi are your main warriors to battle other players or hold a region.
Over the course of the in-game year, moving through spring, summer and autumn, players make can decisions to ally with other players for mutual benefit or betray them entirely. Factions can be upgraded with new special abilities or gain access to a horde of awesome Monsters.
Combat is determined with a blind bidding mechanic, where gained coins through the season are spent on claiming particular bonus abilities prior to the main battle even takes place. All coins are placed in secret and then revealed. For example, the player that spends the most gold on capturing an enemy unit will be able to take another faction unit hostage from the battle, which could lead to power shifting into their favour. Honour is also an important aspect. If a faction has a higher honour rating than another, they will break all ties should a draw take place. Factions move up and down the honour track over the course of the game. Of course, some deceitful monsters also get more powerful if you have lower honour than your enemy…"
I couldn't have said it any better. So we set the game up, which takes quite a bit of time unfortunately as there are quite a few components. I took the role of the Turtle Clan (green, naturally), which comes with a special rule meaning I can take my stronghold with me, like a mobile fortress and add it to my force (power).

The game has quite a large footprint, covering a 5' by 3' table easily.

As there were five players, there would be fraught alliances being made with someone losing out each season.  Being in an alliance brings advantages to both players when it comes to taking actions, however going solo isn't all that bad as certain cards and actions such as "betrayal" mean that you can take advantage of the lack of allies.  The game itself has a lovely way of representing alliances with a colourful Ying/Yang  half for each colour that fit together (top right of the picture). My clan started on the green province and during the game I would recruit and move all over the board.

Jess's Earth Dragon smashes down among the bushi of Jayde and Rob.

Actions are taken via "political mandates" chosen by each player in turn including recruiting monsters, enhancing Daimyo's and praying to the Kami.  Rising Sun also has an honour track (bottom right) which is used to split ties and inform actions and can change based on honourable actions like Seppuku or dishonourable actions like betrayal...

River Dragon towering over those 32mm bushi

Jess had 2 dragons in the end!!

I really, really like this game!  I love the Japanese theme, I love the "miniatures" but mostly I love the intrigue and game play. Yes, you fight battles (sort of) but actually you don't need to, Darius came a respectable second place without fighting a single battle.

I won, just saying...

Overall the game took about 2 and a half hours, a long time for a board game but not for a hardened wargamer like myself, who is used to playing a single battle over a whole day of gaming.  Those two and a half hours were fun and very well spent with some of my favourite people.  I hope to take it to the Nerd Herd and play it with some of my other favourite people.

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Oni of Hate

Hi all

This is the last of the huge "miniatures" from the base game of Rising Sun.  I have more expansions for the game, including extra monsters, Kami and of course the actual clans themselves, so expect to see them being added to this blog at some point.

The Oni of Hate!

The traditional bean-throwing custom to drive out oni is practiced during Setsubun festival in February. It involves people casting roasted soybeans indoors or out of their homes and shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("鬼は外!福は内!", "Oni go out! Blessings come in!").[21][22] This custom has grown from the medieval ritual of tsuina (Chinese: nuo) or oni-yarai, an year-end rite to drive away oni (ghosts).[21][23]
Regionally around Tottori Prefecture during this season, a charm made of holly-leaves and dried sardine heads are used as guard against oni.[23][24]
There is also a well known game in Japan called oni gokko (鬼ごっこ), which is the same as the game of tag that children in western countries play. The player who is "it" is instead called the "oni".[25][26]
Oni are featured in Japanese children's stories such as Momotaro (Peach Boy), Issun-bōshi, and Kobutori Jīsan.
In more recent times, oni have lost some of their original wickedness[citation needed] and sometimes take on a more protective function. Men in oni costumes often lead Japanese parades to dispel any bad luck, for example.
Japanese buildings sometimes include oni-faced roof tiles called onigawara (鬼瓦), which are thought to ward away bad luck, much like gargoyles in Western tradition.[27]
Many Japanese idioms and proverbs also make reference to oni. For example, the expression oya ni ninu ko wa oni no ko (親に似ぬ子は鬼の子) means literally "a child that does not resemble its parents is the child of an oni", and may be used by a parent to chastise a misbehaving child.[5]

Anyway, here is the Oni of Hate

 This time I went for a similar scheme to the official artwork, although the orange of it's kimono is a little lighter than the blood orange on the card.  The pig faced Oni, received a lot of dry brushing, mostly due to the larger areas that needed covering.  Of particular note is my rather clumsy attempt at OSL on the blue fairy fire.  Hopefully it doesn't come across too messily.

That finishes off the monsters from the base game of Rising Sun.  now to crack on with the expansions, but before I go here's the obligatory group shot....

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Oni of Spite

hi all

yup more Oni action...

According to Chinese Taoism and esoteric Onmyōdō, the ways of yin and yang, the northeasterly direction is termed the kimon (鬼門, "demon gate") and considered an unlucky direction through which evil spirits passed. Based on the assignment of the twelve zodiac animals to the cardinal directions, the kimon was also known as the ushitora (丑寅), or "Ox Tiger" direction. One theory is that the oni's bovine horns and tiger-skin loincloth developed as a visual depiction of this term.[14][15][16]
Temples are often built facing that direction, for example, Enryaku-ji was deliberately built on Mount Hiei which was in the kimon (northeasterly) direction from Kyoto in order to guard the capital, and similarly Kan'ei-ji was built towards that direction from Edo Castle.[17][18]
However, skeptics doubt this could have been the initial design of Enryaku-ji temple, since the temple was founded in 788, six years before Kyoto even existed as a capital, and if the ruling class were so feng shui minded, the subsequent northeasterly move of the capital from Nagaoka-kyō to Kyoto would have certainly been taboo.[19]
Also, Japanese buildings may sometimes have L-shaped indentions at the northeast to ward oni away, for example the walls surrounding the Kyoto Imperial Palace have notched corners in that direction[20]
So this week, I give you the "Oni of Spite"

I painted him up in very dark colours, in contrast to brighter reds and yellows (and blue!) of the previous Onis.  This is because he looks a lot more sinister and death like, particular the cadaverous look and scythe like weapon.

The reds and blacks while simple looking, required several layers of highlighting.  The gold, I decided to make a rose coloured to add to the reds of the robes.  I picked out the skulls in the hair of the oni and painted it the same as the Oni's skull like visage. Finally I painted up the armour using a combination of metallic blue and pewter coloured paints, thanks to Bryan "Vampifan" and his beautiful rendition of the "Intruders" in the game Nemesis.

anyway, one more Oni to go and then I'll move onto the "Lucky Gods" expansion.

hope you enjoy